Taking a leap generally refers to making a significant change regardless of potential negative consequences. When making a change to your lifestyle to better your health, taking a leap certainly applies, but what about negative consequences? There are still some perceptions of exercise that spawn the attitude of ‘it’s not worth it’. Exploring the potential negatives of exercise (and then immediately using logic and common sense to dispose of those concerns) is a friendly reminder of how important it is to take the leap.
Injuries…...Exercise without a doubt may cause an injury. The obvious problem with this fear is that exercise, when done properly, not only doesn’t cause injuries, it prevents them. There are too many wrong ways to exercise to mention, so let’s focus on one primary wrong way…...overtraining. Even when you are performing the actual exercise properly (form, appropriate load, etc), you can still overdo it. Depending on the type of exercise, this can mean bone fractures, muscle strains, ligament sprains, or a number of other injuries. This applies to strength and endurance modes of exercise. For those Type A’s out there, if exercise is new to you, make sure to ease into a routine and all will be well. For you Type B’s, approach exercise as you would most other things and you’ll be fine. Just remember that in order to benefit from exercise you will need to increase intensity at some point.
Takes up too much time…...This concern, although touted by those that avoid exercise, really isn’t a negative consequence. Yes, it does take time to work out, but probably not as much as one might think. The fitness industry has provided research over and over that proves the health benefits of short bouts of moderate to low intensity exercise. Although Candy Crush (if that is still popular), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat are among other essential daily tasks, the great thing is they provide opportunity to multi-task. Take a 10 minute walk or perform some squats or lunges while you catch up on the world’s most pressing social media events. Working out doesn’t necessarily mean changing into your designer fitness garb, driving to the gym, and spending an hour on a treadmill. Adding activity to your day is much easier and beneficial than some perceive it to be.
Been there, done that with no results…..Results are a big concern and they should be. Everyone wants to know that if they change their lifestyle in a drastic way, it will make a drastic difference…...immediately. Immediately, of course, is the operative word. Changing habits isn’t easy. Adding exercise to your life is a leap of faith of sorts. Having faith that results (realistic results) will come should be part of the process. One of this author’s favorite phrases is ‘focus on how you feel’. Most of us start exercising waiting for the scale to display a lower number or for pants to fit looser. We commonly want this to happen within the first week or two. Have faith and focus on how exercise clears your mind and gives you a little boost of energy after each bout. The results will be there by sticking with it consistently.
With any change it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. When exercise is performed properly and consistently, there really is no excuse to avoid it. Taking the leap of adding it to your lifestyle is really no leap at all. In addition to that, 2020 gives you an extra day to be active, so this is the year to begin reaching your goals.